Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Yet Another Reason Palestinian-Israeli Peace Talks Wont Succeed

I can sum up the reason that peace talks will not succeed between Israel and the Palestinians in one word. It is also the one word that diplomats, pundits, and the New York Times refuse to recognize trumps anything else, even as they tout the possibility of a breakthrough for a peace deal.


Palestinian Authority municipal elections scheduled for July 9, 2011, will not be held in Gaza until rival Palestinian factions reach a reconciliation agreement, Israel Radio quoted Hamas as saying Tuesday.

Hamas spokesman Fawazi Barhoum said that the elections, announced by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad earlier in the day, have no real value because they were declared by a government that has lost its legitimacy.

According to the report, Barhoum also said that the elections were meant to cover up the WikiLeaks scandals and the "Palestine Papers" released by Al Jazeera that exposed the concessions PA President Mahmoud Abbas was willing to make in peace negotiations with Israel.

Earlier Tuesday, Palestinian Authority Spokesman Ghassan Khatib had said that even if Hamas blocks elections in Gaza, they will still be held only in the West Bank.
The last Palestinian elections were held in 2005, and Hamas won handily in Gaza, and won a majority of seats in the Palestinian Parliament. Fatah and Hamas engaged in a civil war, and Hamas threw Fatah out of Gaza. Fatah has no ability to impose its will on Hamas, and Fatah needs Israel to provide sufficient backing to keep Hamas from overwhelming Fatah's operations.

So, while Fatah's Mahmoud Abbas and other diplomats engage in talks with Israel, Hamas continues to reject any and all deals with Israel.

Hamas rejects Israel's existence.

Hamas sees any deal in the context of a hudna - a truce until such a time when Hamas can fight and defeat Israel at the time and place of its choosing. That's a lose-lose situation for Israel and the Palestinians themselves. So any deal that potentially enlarges Gaza in land-swaps would be giving territory to a regime that is antithetical to Israel's very existence and which has shown no interest in peaceful coexistence.

Moreover, Fatah needs a diplomatic breakthrough and success, but it can't impose any breakthrough because the population has been conditioned to accept nothing less than Israel's destruction. Even news reports that Abbas and his negotiators were making concessions brought out the condemnations from the usual suspects because they were seen as collaborating with Israel to give up Palestinian rights to Jerusalem and accepting a two-state solution.

Meanwhile, Gazan terrorists affiliated with Islamic Jihad continue their ongoing attacks against Israel, firing off four mortars today that slammed into the Negev. Thankfully, there were no injuries but the incident shows Hamas and the other terror groups in Gaza have no interest in peace and that they're going to take advantage of the situation to further their own ideological goals, which do not include coexistence with Israel.

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